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$20 Million Verdict Reached in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit against Anesthesiologist

A jury has returned a $20 million verdict in an anesthesia medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who died during surgery when bile entered her lungs. The wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the anesthetists failed to identify that the victim had risk factors for breathing fluid into her lungs, despite the information being available in her medical record. The victim was preparing to receive exploratory surgery to determine the cause of severe stomach pains when she received the anesthesia. Once anesthetized, she began breathing bile into her lungs. She then later died. The victim’s family alleged that the defendants did not examine the victim’s abdomen or medical records before giving her anesthesia. If they had examined the patient they could have prevented her wrongful death. The jury awarded $20 million in favor of the plaintiff. Anesthesia deaths accounted for more than 2,200 deaths between 1999 and 2005. A little over 46% of those deaths are due to anesthesia overdose. To read more about the jury verdict, please click the link.